HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY TO MY BLOG! 

My little ol’ beauty blog turns 5 today! 2015 has been a good year for my blog, I hit my highest views per hour seeing a steady rise of followers. It’s your continued support that motivates me to write posts sharing my beauty experiences with you.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I enjoy creating them!

secondblonde x

Review: Rimmel london, Brow This Way! (brow sculpting kit)

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I’ve noticed lately that there are lot’s of brow kits available on the high street within budget beauty brands. Having been a loyal fan of Benefit’s brow kits for years and  more recently trying out Barry M’s version, I decided to test Rimmel’s “cheap as chips” offering.

The Promise : Sculpt the perfect photo-ready, high impact brow! Long lasting formula feels lightweight and comfortable all day long, 2 easy steps – apply wax to shape & fix, then layer powder to set.

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I alway’s opt for a dark brown as although my hair is coloured blonde my eyebrows are naturally dark, it is available in a medium brown shade too.

The wax is a good texture and easy to apply (other budget brands have a hard wax making it very difficult to use) The colour of the wax and powder are a perfect match. My brows look defined and it stay’s put for a whole day even through a busy shift at work, I do tend to do a little touch up at lunchtime but that’s just me! I’m really happy with the quality of the wax and powder considering it’s only £3.99

The brush is ok, the slanted end is great for creating a shape and definition with. The longevity of the brush is what I’m not that happy with. Unfortunately it loses it’s shape once you get about half way through the product, it’s bristles start sticking out like an old toothbrush which becomes impossible to create fine natural strokes.

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My Verdict: All in all I’m really happy with this product for the price point, I’m still using it daily so that say’s a lot! I would consider purchasing this again however, I just wish you can buy additional brushes, pretty please Rimmel London??

Have you tried this brow kit from Rimmel? or perhaps another high street brand that you think I’d like, would love to hear from you.

Secondbonde x

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Pay Day Wish List at Liberty Beauty Hall November 2015

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The Liberty Beauty Buying Team are always on top of their game selecting special products for their beautiful Beauty Hall and Bath House Edit’s. Here are a few of my favourite picks to add to my November pay day wish list.

All of these products are available to buy in store at Liberty (free gift wrapping) or purchase online where you can use your Liberty Loyalty Card to gain valuable points that turn into reward vouchers. I’ve included links to each product so you can read about them in detail, I’d love to hear from you if you already love these products or if they are on your beauty wish list too!

  1. AESOP REVERENCE AROMATIQUE HAND BALM 75ML £19 view here
  2. JIN SOON TULLE NAIL POLISH £15 view here
  3. HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING EDIT PALETTE £65 view here
  4. KORRES ALMOND AND LINSEED SHAMPOO 250ML £10 view here
  5. EMMA HARDIE AMAZING FACE CLEANSING BALM 100ML £38 view here
  6. DE MAMIEL ROSEY LIP BALM 10ML £13 view here

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Review: Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara – 01 Extreme Black

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(Approx 1 Minute Read)

My dear friend Ani Stephens who is an experienced Freelance Aesthetician/Beautician gave me this fabulous mascara to try out a few weeks ago so I’ve been wearing it every day since for work. Ani has just joined Instagram you can follow her here.

The Product Promise: To create outrageous volume, lift and curves for a false-lash effect. Eyes look brighter, wider, more seductive!!

The Formula: The Extreme Bold Volume™ formula is a blend of three high-volume fibres in a mousse-light base. Fortified with conditioning Lash-Advancing Vitamin Complex.
The BrushComber Extreme™ has two types of bristles: flexible fibres to carry maximum formula; solid fibres to comb and separate for clump-free definition.

My Verdict: The packaging is as you would expect – gold, glossy and luxurious. The product consistency is quite thick and in my opinion dispenses too much on the wand. Application is good, the wand is large but a great tool for adding volume. The special fibres in this mousse-light base is what I most like about this mascara as it means your lashes are still flexible when they dry and not crispy. To me this means that they look slightly more natural and feel more comfortable. The colour is a nice intense black. I do really like this mascara but unsure if I would repurchase it at £24 a pop! I will continue to use this one until it’s finished.

My Top Tip: After applying and before they dry sweep a second clean wand through your lashes to remove any excess product and even out for flexible full lashes.

Have you tried this mascara or are there any other luxury brand mascara’s that you can’t live without?

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End of month Pay Day Wish List September 2015

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I got paid today, hurray!! Here’s a few of my beauty and fashion wish list. A fashion staple bomber jacket with faux fur lining from Topshop to keep you warm. (may just go and get this today) A magic in a bottle primer from the amazing hourglass makeup brand. A new semi matte lipstick from Nars, a change from my Mac. A new fragrance in the house with Diptyque keeping those summer nights in Turkey alive. A cute index finger ring (it’s very dainty) Cool fashion forward platform boots to dress up or dress down by Acne Studios. Some of these are within my reach and some may have to just stay on my lust list for now.

I’ve added some links for more info and where you can buy, from left to right:

Topshop Faux Fur Lined MA1 Bomber Jacket £65 here.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer £52 here.

Nars Jungle Red Lipsick £20 here.

Tai Jewelry Rose Gold Evil Eye Ring £28 here.

Diptyque Jasmine Scented Candle £40 here.

Acne Studios Elongated Platform Boot Orbit Black £440 here.

What’s on your pay day wish or lust list this month?

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REVIEW: eyeko LONDON Fat Brush Mascara – Big & Bold

Eyeko was established in 1999 re-inventing mascara with it’s no waste squeezable tubes. The brands focus is on eyes only, and with Alexa Chung as their creative consultant since 2013 the brand has been going from strength to strength collecting a loyal fan base.

Eyeko are best known for their amazing mascaras and stay put all day liquid liners.

I was given an eyeko mascara tester a while ago “Black Magic Mascara Drama & Curl. It was ok, I’ve been curious about trying out the others on offer so recently decided to get the “Big Fat Brush Mascara big & bold” 



  
I’m instantly in love with the packaging particulary the squeezey tube. The wand is indeed very FAT and larger than what I’m used to.

It sweeps on my lashes with ease with no clumsiness or gloop just beautiful fibre enhanced keratin conditioned long lashes! I wouldn’t say this is the most amazing mascara I’ve ever tried but it does deposit dense carbon black colour which stay’s put all day without rubbing off around my eyes. The effect on me is long and spidery lash as apposed to thickness or fullness. I like it but personally think it’s more of a daytime wear mascara for me.

The image on the right is before and the image on the left is after 2 coats on the top and 1 coat on the bottom.

I picked mine up at Selfridges, you can buy online eyeko London £15 

Have you tried any of the products of the this iconic brand?

Secondblonde x 

 

Barry M BROW KIT Shape & Define

As I’ve been using Benefit brows a go go and brow zings for years let’s just say based on price point I was quite skeptical about the performance of BarryM’s brow kit.

IMG_5370.JPGNo disrespect BarryM I love lots of your reasonably priced products, however when it comes to brows I tend to think you have to spend more money to get good results…boy was I wrong!

Packaging is basic and neat, the set includes a handy mirror, mini tweezers, double ended applicator, brow wax, brow shaddow and a high lighter. What more do you need to keep your brows in check?
IMG_5369.JPGThe wax is a good colour and perfect texture for creating a good shape and tame strays.
The shaddow is a great colour match for my brows, you can build it up for a darker shade, the downside is if your brows are fair this will not be the product for you as it only comes in the one shade.
The high lighter is subtle, I’m not crazy about it but if does the job!

IMG_5373.JPGThe tweezers are great emergency on the go kind if tweezers, they work really well but simply to small to have the patients with for regular at home brow grooming.

The double ended applicator brush is brilliant! One slanted, one rounded. I use both to create a nice shape.

The mirror is just the right size, not too small making it easy to see what you are doing.

IMG_5374.JPGA swatch of the wax, shaddow and high lighter. Sorry it’s not the best of lighting in this photo.

IMG_5372-1.JPGIf you read my holiday make-up bag must haves post in July you will remember that this was included, which really put this product to the test in sweltering heat day/night plus chlorine pools and of course the salty sea water exposure while holidaying in Turkey.

IMG_5368.JPGThe verdict…you passed with flying colours, ok I did need a few touch ups in the hot sun but the staying power was impressive, it certainly didn’t slide off my face while I was sweating when sun bathing or come off in the sea or pool.

Now the biggest question is do I switch back to Benefit when this finishes or do I repurchase? At less then half the price at only £5.99 I think it’s a strong possibility.

What do you guys think?

Holiday Make-Up Bag Must Haves!

I’m travelling light this summer trying not to take ALL my make-up/lotions n potions plus the kitchen sink! These three little beauties are defo making my final edit.
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1. Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover – fast clean easy nail polish removal on the go for those emergency chipped nail moments.
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2. Barry M Brow Kit – perfect brow definition with staying power that won’t slide off your skin, even in the hottest sun! (Yet to test in a chlorine pool)
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3. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara – Great for daytime eye definition for a natural makeup look. Pick up the waterproof version to avoid pool panda eyes!
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Three essential products that I’ve tested with great results and the best news is each product is just under £6 so they won’t break the bank…happy days.

No7 Perfect Blend Trio Concealer 5g

Packaged in white clamshell type simple packaging it looks appealing, you don’t ask for much from the look of concealer, it’s all about performance right? My only wish would be a little mirror inside for those emergency touch ups! The shades come in a cool pinkish tone, a cool ivory tone and a warm darker tone. You can cleverly blend to create your own colours, or (as I do) I use the cool pinkish tone for spot cover up and under eyes, and the the ivory tone of the inside corners of my eyes on each side of my nose to illuminate.

20140309-184711.jpgThe texture is creamy and easy to work with, a brush woks well for small areas such as pimple/blemish cover up, larger areas like under eyes I find fingers work better. The creamy texture turns to a fine powdery finish so be careful not to create a caked up look!

The science bit:
Contains Vitamin E, Pro-Vitamin B5 and is hypo-allergenic.

At £9.50 for 3 concealers in one I think it’s great value for money and will last the distance. I’m looking forward to trying the darker shade out or perhaps mixing it in with one of the other shades when I have a hint of colour to my completion this summer! I’ve been testing this for a while and realise it’s become one if my “must haves” in my make-up bag.

They’re Real!

THEY’RE REAL by Benefit courtesy of my June 2013 issue of Elle Magazine, perfect! I was looking to try out a new mascara and had heard great things about this one.

20130530-193213.jpgPackaging is eye catching, although I have a travel size the shape of the bottle is comfortable to handle and the lid just the right size to hold.

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20130530-195800.jpgThe wand is the spiky rubbery type and has a spiky ball at the tip which is a clever little tool to reach all outer and inner lashes, the result is a glossy black even coverage. I’m lucky to have long lashes naturally but this mascara really does accentuate my lashes giving that oh là là effect!

20130530-200427.jpgThe only downside which is more personal preference is that my lashes feel quite crispy, but on the upside this mascara dries instantly when applied and does not smudge and lasts the whole day!

I will definitely consider re-buying.
View Benefit Cosmetics here

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